Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed Tuesday to accept service of a subpoena for his testimony before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible criminal meddling in the 2020 election by then-President Donald Trump.
But Graham, R-S.C., still retained his right to challenge the legality of the subpoena, a court filing showed.
The Atlanta-based grand jury is seeking evidence related to efforts by Trump and others to get Georgia officials to overturn the election won there by President Joe Biden.
Graham’s agreement to accept the subpoena likely will streamline his dispute with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over the demand for his testimony. Asked Tuesday afternoon about the development, Graham told NBC News that Fulton County hasn’t “even tried to subpoena me. I just want to get it done.”
The Republican lawmaker, one of Trump’s closest confidants in the Senate, had asked a federal judge in South Carolina last week to quash the subpoena.
But Willis in a court filing Monday told the judge that Graham’s challenge was both too early, and not filed in the right court. She said the fact that Graham had not yet been served with the subpoena made any motion to quash it premature, and that he might not be served in South Carolina.
On Tuesday, attorneys for both parties told the judge that Willis and Graham “have reached an agreement to withdraw all process and proceedings pending” before the South Carolina district court.
“Senator Graham has agreed to accept service of a subpoena for testimony from the Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury in Atlanta, Georgia, without waiving any challenges or any applicable privilege and/or immunity,” the lawyers wrote in the court filing.
Any future challenges to the subpoena will be pursued in Georgia, either in Fulton County Superior Court or U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Now, Graham still doesn't think the subpoena is valid, but he'll take it for now. Maybe he just wants to get the deposition over with. Maybe he doesn't want to fight this all the way to the US Supreme Court. Maybe he wants to give a deposition in order to help Trump.
The point is, DA Fani Willis made him blink first. Graham may very well get the last laugh, but for now, Willis drew first blood.
We'll see how far this gets before Graham decides to burn the whole place down.
In which case, I'm sure DA Willis has options...